Japanese Iris (JI)

Iris ensata

Mt. Pleasant Iris Farm is a National Display Garden for Japanese Iris.

Iris ensata have been selectively bred from wild forms found in northern Asia. Their cultural needs are very demanding, if met they will reward you with a magnificent display of color approximately 2-3 weeks after Tall Bearded bloom. Peak bloom in our garden is the last two weeks of June. Culture has a great influence; please refer to the culture page. Note: Grow as you would a productive summertime vegetable garden, with moist well-drained compost-rich soil that is slightly acidic (no lime or bone meal). 

Payne Award/Medal: The Payne Medal, named for W. Arlie Payne, is the highest award given by the American Iris Society that a Japanese iris can receive in its class. Payne Medal winners are then eligible to win the Dykes Medal, which is the highest award an iris can receive from The American Iris Society. 1992 and prior the highest award a Japanese Iris could receive was the Payne Award. This award has now been elevated to a medal status.   A brief of  W. Arlie Payne by Clarence Mahan.

​Mt Pleasant Iris Farm is pleased to offer many top award winners for your garden. Payne Award: PW​  Payne Medal: PM

Key to the descriptions
F = Falls Number of Petals, 3F single, 6F double, 9F12F peony form
E, M, L, V = Bloom Season, Early, Mid-Season, Late, and Very
At Mt Pleasant Iris Farm peak season is the last week of June going into the first week of July. VE varieties may start blooming in the first or second week of June. With VL varieties starting to bloom the first week of July. Each varietal clump when established should be in color with bloom for a minimum of two weeks.
RE = Rebloom has been noted in our fields, not guaranteed.
36″, 40″  Height of the plant.
Bloom 3″, 10″  Approximate diameter of the bloom.
Buds 2-4  Number of buds to a stem.
The last three listed items Height, Bloom Size, and Number of Buds all are heavily dictated by the culture given. The same plant might be 30″​ or 40″ tall depending on the soil and water needs given.



JI Amethyst Actress clump

Amethyst Actress

Harris 2019

Soft amethyst fading to pale amethyst by day three 9F, M, 40″, Bloom 6″-8″, Buds 2-4

JI Amethyst's Sister Clump

Amethyst’s Sister

Harris 2012

Blends of mid-to-dark amethyst 9F, L, 52″, Bloom 6″-8″, Buds 3-6

JI Angelic ChoirJI Angelic Choir clump

Angelic Choir

Sold Out
Harris 2006

White self 6F, M, 42″, Bloom 6″-8″, Buds 3-6

JI Artesian Spring

JI Artesian Spring clump

Artesian Spring

Sold Out
Harris 2010

Dark purple, deep blue undertones 6F, ML, 48″, Bloom 6″-7″, Buds 3-4

JI Asian Festival

JI Asian Festival clump

Asian Festival

Harris 2002

Red-violet with blue-violet undertones F3, M, 54″, Bloom 6″-7″, Buds 5-7

JI Avalanche Express

Avalanche Express

Sold Out
Harris 2000

White self 9F, M, 44″, Bloom 6″-7″, Buds 2-3

JI Banjo Blues


Banjo Blues

Sold Out
Bauer/Coble 2005

White veined blue 6F, M, 34″, Bloom 6″-8″, Buds 3-5

JI Bewitching Twilight

Bewitching Twilight

Sold Out
Harris 2000

Light pastel blue 6+F, M, 41″, Bloom 6″-7″, Buds 2-4
PM 2013

JI Blushing Snowmaiden clump

Blushing Snowmaiden

Sold Out
Harris 2000

White lightly brushed rose-violet 9+F, M, 40″, Bloom 8″, Buds 3-4

JI Bushido clump


Sold Out
Harris 2020

Violet tones edged in white 3F, L, 38″, Bloom 7″-8″, Buds 2-4

JI Butterflies In Flight

Butterflies In Flight

Sold Out
Aitken 1991

Light blue veined darker 6F, L, 48″, Bloom 6″-7″, Buds 3-4
PM 1998

JI Caprican Butterfly

JI Caprician Butterfly clump

Caprician Butterfly

Sold Out
Marx by Rodgers 1985

White veined purple 6F, M, 36″, Bloom 7″-8″ Buds 5-6
PW 1990
PM 1994

JI Carol Johnson

JI Carol Johnson clump

Carol Johnson

Sold Out
McEwen by Whitney 2011

Pale blue veined darker, plum standards edged white 3F, ML, 32″, Bloom 8″, Buds 3-4

JI Cascade Crest

JI Cascade Crest clump

Cascade Crest

Aitken 1988

White ground sanded pale blue-violet 6F, M, 48″, Bloom 6″-8″, Buds 2-3
PM 1995

JI Cascade Rain

JI Cascade Rain clump

Cascade Rain

Sold Out
Harris 2008

White ground washed and freckled blue 3F, M, 40″, Bloom 7″-8″, Buds 3
PM 2019

JI Cascade Spice

JI Cascade Spice clump

Cascade Spice

Reid 1989

White ground freckled blue-violet, banded red-violet 6F, ML, 42″, Bloom 6″-7″, Buds 3-5

JI Celestial Emperor

Celestial Emperor

Sold Out
Harris 2011

Silver ground red-violet band and veins. Blue halo surrounding yellow signals 6F, ML, 38″, Bloom 9″-10″, Buds 2-3

JI Coho

JI Coho clump


Sold Out
Harris 2005

Pink self 3F, VE, 38″, Bloom 6″-7″, Buds 5-7
PM 2012

JI Columbia Crest

JI Columbia Crest clump

Columbia Crest

Sold Out
Harris 2015

Royal purple with a deep blue undertone 6F, L, 50″, Bloom 7″-8″, Buds 3-5

JI Columbia Deep Water

JI Columbia Deep Water clump

Columbia Deep Water

Sold Out
Harris 2013

Dark blends of blue and red violets, faint neon blue rays 6F, ML, 48″, Bloom 7″-8″, Buds 4-6
PM 2021

JI Dalle Whitewater

JI Dalle Whitewater clump

Dalle Whitewater

Harris 2011

White ground sanded mid-blue-violet 6F, L, 48″, Bloom 7″-8″, Buds 3-5
PM 2021

JI Dancing Waves

JI Dancing Waves

Dancing Waves

Payne 1964

Blends of dark violet to purple, sharp white edge 6F, ML, 42″, Bloom 9″-10″, Buds 2
PA 1968

JI Dirigo Devil

JI Dirigo Devil clump

Dirigo Devil

Sold Out
White 1992

Mid Red-violet splashed lighter 6F, L, 44″, Bloom 5″-6″, Buds 3-5

JI Dragon Tapestry

JI Dragon Tapestry clump

Dragon Tapestry

Sold Out
Harris 2012

Dark wine red splashed with white 6F, M, 36″, Bloom 6″-7″, Buds 3-5

JI Electric Rays

JI Electric Rays clump

Electric Rays

Sold Out
Aitken 1990

Dark violet, neon blue rays 6F, M, 50″, Bloom 7″-8″, Buds 2
PM 1997

JI Embossed

JI Embossed clump


Sold Out
Marx 1956

Light violet, darker halo, and veins 6F, M, 45″, Bloom 6″-7″, Buds 3

JI Evelyn White

JI Evelyn White clump

Evelyn White

Sold Out
White 2008

White red-violet edge 6F, M, 40″, Bloom 6″-7″
Buds 3-4

JI Flamingo Waltz

JI Flamingo Waltz clump

Flamingo Waltz

Sold Out
Harris 2014

Pink self 6F, M, 36″, Bloom 7″-8″, Buds 3-5
PM 2022

JI Freckled Peacock

JI Freckled Peacock clump

Freckled Peacock

Sold Out
Harris 2002

White freckled red-violet 3F, M, 54″, Bloom 7″-8″, buds 5-7

JI Frosted Intrigue

JI Frosted Intrigue clump

Frosted Intrigue

Bauer/Coble 1997

Blends of dark blue and red-violet 6F, M, 36″, Bloom 6″-7″, Buds 4-5

JI Frosted Pyramid clump

Frosted Pyramid

Marx 1960

White self 9F, L, 44″, Bloom 7″-8″, Buds 2-4

JI Geishunka


sold out
Mitsuda 1979
in Japan
AIS Reg. 1995

Pink self 6F, M, 32″, Bloom 8″, Buds 2

JI Hime Kagami

JI Hime Kagami clump

Hime Kagami

Sold Out
Hirao 1975
in Japan
AIS Reg. 1976

Pink self 6F, EM, 36″, Bloom 6″-7″, Buds 5-6

JI Honour


Sold Out
McEwen 2001

Pink self 6F, M, 32″, Bloom 6″-7″,
Buds 2

JI Indigo Angel

JI Indigo Angel clump

Indigo Angel

Sold Out
Bauer/Coble 2011

Violet ground darker halo and veins, red-violet band-edged white 6F, M, 32″, Bloom 7″-8″,
Buds 2-3
PM 2019

JI Jaciva

JI Jaciva clump


Harris 1992

Mid-blue-violet 6F, ML, 42″, Bloom 7″-8″, Buds 3-4

JI Japanese Plum

JI Japanese Plum clump

Japanese Plum

Harris 2010

Velvety red-violet, dark-style arms 6F, M, 38″, Bloom 7″-8″, Buds 3-4

JI Jewel Of The Nile

JI Jewel Of The Nile clump

Jewel Of The Nile

Bauer/Coble 2013

Velvety red-violet, white-style arms 6F, M, 36″, Bloom 7″-8″, Buds 2-3

JI Jewelled Sea

JI Jewelled Sea clump

Jewelled Sea

Payne 1969

Mid-blue-violet 6F, M, 36″, Bloom 6″-7″, Buds 3-4

JI Knip Won

JI Knip Won clump

Knip Won

Sold Out
Copeland 2017


Pink 3F, M, 37″, Bloom 7″-8″, Buds 2-3

JI Koto Harp Strings

JI Koto Harp Strings clump

Koto Harp Strings

Sold Out
Harris 2016

Blue-violet, sharp ray pattern 6F, VL, 48″, Bloom 8″-9″, Buds 4-7

JI Lake Effect

JI Lake Effect clump

Lake Effect

Sold Out
Bauer/Coble 2004

Blue lighter edges 6F, M, 36″, Bloom 8″-9″, Buds 2-4
PM 2016

JI Lion King

JI Lion King clump

Lion King

Sold Out
Bauer/Coble 1996

White, edged and freckled red-violet 9F, M, 42″, Bloom 8″-9″, Buds 3-6

JI Love Goddess

JI Love Goddess clump

Love Goddess

Sold Out
Payne 1966

White, cream styles 6F, L, 48″, Bloom 7″-8″, Buds 4-6

JI Maine Elegance

JI Maine Elegance clump

Maine Elegance

Sold Out
McEwen by Whitney 2009

White, blue veins 6F, ML, 40″, Bloom 9″-10″, Buds 3

JI Mulberry Halos

JI Mulberry Halos clump

Mulberry Halos

Sold Out
Harris 2019

Silver-violet ground, mulberry halo, and veins 6F, L, 38″, Bloom 6″-7″, Buds 2-3

JI My Elisabeth

JI My Elisabeth clump

My Elisabeth

McEwen by Whitney 2008

Large mid-blue-violet 6F, M, 42″, Bloom 9″-10″, Buds 3-4

JI Night Angel

JI Night Angel clump

Night Angel

Sold Out
Aitken 1996


Dark blue-violet, ray pattern 6F, ML, 36″, Bloom 6″-8″, Buds 2-3

JI Nishikiori

JI Nishikiori clump


Shimizu by Warner 1997

Red-violet randomly streaked white 6F, M, 35″, Bloom 6″-7″, Buds 4-6

JI Ol'Man River

JI Ol'Man River clump

Ol’Man River

McEwen 1987

Red-violet, lightly splashed with white 6F, L, 49″, Bloom 5″-6″, Buds 4-7

JI Oriental Classic

JI Oriental Classic clump

Oriental Classic

Sold Out
McEwen 1988

Large white self 6F, M, 38″, Bloom 9″-10″, Buds 5-7

JI Pagoda Temple

JI Pagoda Temple clump

Pagoda Temple

Harris 2017

Rich blends of violet, a true hose-n-hose, one bloom inside another 12+F, M, 36″, Bloom 6″-7″, Buds 2

JI Peacock Strut

JI Peacock Strut clump

Peacock Strut

Hirao by Hager 1978

Soft sky blue-violet 3F, L, 42″, Bloom 8″-9″, Buds 2

JI Picotee Princess

JI Picotee Princess clump

Picotee Princess

Reid 1992

White ground sanded soft lilac 6F, L, 44″, Bloom 8″-9″, Buds 4-6

JI Pink Playmate clump

Pink Playmate

Sold Out
Harris 2018

Ruffled bright pink 6F, EM, 24″, Bloom 6″-7″, Buds 2

JI Pleasant Earlybird

JI Pleasant Earlybird clump

Pleasant Earlybird

Harris 1996

Pastel blue-violet, long bloom season 3F, VE, 44″, Bloom 7″-8″, Buds 5-7

JI Pleasant Sandman

JI Pleasant Sandman clump

Pleasant Sandman

Harris 1998

Large bloom sanded blends of violet 6F, M, 44″, Bloom 9″-10″, Buds 3

JI Raspberry Candy

JI Raspberry Candy clump

Raspberry Candy

Bauer/Coble 1999

Dark red-violet 6F, EM, 34″, Bloom 7″-8″, Buds 2-3
PM 2008

JI Rose World

JI Rose World clump


Rose World

Sold Out
Reid 1989

Plum red-violet white center styles and halo, long bloom season 6F, EM, 44″, Bloom 7″-8″, Buds 5-7

JI Sanded Treasure

JI Sanded Treasure clump

Sanded Treasure

Harris 2020

Warm blends of violet 6F, L, 36″, Blooms 7″-8″, Buds 3-4

JI Shining Prince

JI Shining Prince clump

Shining Prince

Hirao by Hager AIS Reg 1991

Rich violet with white rays 6F, M, 37″, Bloom 7″-8″, Buds 2-3

JI Silent Thunder

JI Silent Thunder clump

Silent Thunder

Bauer/Coble 1996

Mid-red-violet, one of the last to start blooming 9F, VL, 48″, Bloom 8″-9″, Buds 4-6

JI Silverband

JI Silverband clump


Bauer/Coble 1989

Dark red-violet with striking variegated white and green foliage 3F, M, 36″, Bloom 3″-4″, Buds 2-4

JI Simple Grace

JI Simple Grace clump

Simple Grace

Sold Out
Harris 2019

 Large dark purple, classic form 3F, E, RE, 38″, Bloom 8″-9″, Buds 3-4

JI Stella Niagara

JI Stella Niagara clump

Stella Niagara

Rettig 1995

Blue-violet large white blaze 3F, M, 38″, Bloom 5″-6″, Buds 4-6

JI Sugar Dome

JI Sugar Dome clump

Sugar Dome

Sold Out
Bauer/Coble 2008

Mid-blue-violet, multiple white styles 6F, L, 42″, Blooms 7″-8″, Buds 3
PM 2015

JI Summer Storm

JI Summer Storm clump

Summer Storm

Marx 1955

Royal purple self 6F, VL, 48″, Blooms 8″-9″, Buds 2-3

JI Sunrise Ridge

JI Sunrise Ridge clump

Sunrise Ridge

Harris 2007

Red-violet, white blaze, and rays 6F, M, 40″, Blooms 7″-8″, Buds 2-4

JI Thoroughbred

JI Thoroughbred clump


Sold Out
McEwen 1999

White, bright blue halo and veins. Standards purple edged white 3F, M, 38″, Bloom 8″-10″, Buds 2

JI Twilight's Splendor



Twilight’s Splendor

Sold Out
Harris 2023

New Introduction

Pale Blue-violet ground, darker halos, and veins 6F, L, 38″, Blooms 8″-9″, Buds 2-3

JI Yamataikoku


Sold Out
Kamo 1979
AIS Reg 1993

Large rich velvet royal purple 3F, M, 36″, Bloom 8″-9″, Buds 3-4

JI Yuzen

JI Yuzen clump


Sold Out
Ichie 1994 Reg by McEwen 1997

White with sharp red-violet rim 6F, M, 30″, Bloom 6″-7″, Buds 3-4